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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, so I think I know what my stocking is going to be. It's gonna be a couple weeks still, but I think I've settled on my species.

10 P. saulosi
8 Maingano
5 P. Acei Yellow tail
5. Albino scolofi
5 rusties

How does this sound??

I'm going to be adding a ton of sand stone haphazardly arranged to make many caves and nooks and crannies.

I also have 2 emperor 400 filters with a total gph rotation of 800.

The tank will be pre-cycled (tank has been up and running for 2 years now.)

The place I am buying my Saulosi from has a ph similar to mine (7-7.2) The place I'm buying the others from has a ph of 7.8. Should I raise my ph for the other fish or keep it where the saulosi are used to it?
 

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Your list looks good! I'd maybe add a few more Saulosi (maybe 13-15) and maybe bump your Mainganos down to 5-6 (just my thoughts)
May I ask what are the dimensions of the tank? If it's only 4ft in length the Acie might be a little cramped but it still should be okay. I'd work on getting your PH a little higher as well. Mbuna can live in 7.2 ph but it's not ideal. Usually 7.8-8.4 is ideal. Check out the library section on a buffer to raise your PH. Hopefully this helps! Good Luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
It's a 4' tank...18" wide and 24" (?) tall.

Ok, how about 10 saulosi (maybe keep some of the offspring)
6 each of acei, maingano,rustie, and albino scolofi?
would 4-5 bristlenose plecos work too
 

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IMO, you may be pushing it a bit with 5 mbuna species in a 4' 90g. I'm only planning on 5 in my 6'x18" 125g tank. Not saying it won't work, but its a bit more risky. In fact, if any combo would work, I would say yours has a shot. saulosi and rusties are both dwarf. Well, so are maingano but they're more aggressive.

If it were me and I HAD to have those 5 species in that tank, I would do...

1m:3-4f saulosi only - not a lot of experience with them for me so only add more females if you need to (or want more yellow)
1m:6-8f maingano
1m:2f acei maybe 3 female.
1m:4f albino socolofi
1m:4f rusties at least, but I'm finding with mine I think I need a couple more females for my fiesty male.

That'll be 24+ fish for you, depending on how many females you go with for your males. That'll look plenty stocked for a 4' tank.

I probably wouldn't worry about buffering. Not a big enough of a difference between 7.2 and 7.8 to warrant the weekly hassle, IMO. Mbuna have been tank bred for many generations now in local water of all different paramaters all over the country. They're very adaptable, hardy fish. You're water sounds similar to mine - mine is 7.2-7.4 or abouts. As long as the pH is steady, thats the important part. If its not, you need to raise KH, which has the effect usually of also raising pH, but raising pH directly should not be the goal. A rock solid pH of 7.2 will be better for the fish than a high ph that swings every week.
 

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The place I am buying my Saulosi from has a ph similar to mine (7-7.2) The place I'm buying the others from has a ph of 7.8. Should I raise my ph for the other fish or keep it where the saulosi are used to it?
A pH of 7.0 - 7.2 will probably be ok for malawis, but it is right on that fringe region that it would worry me a little bit. For example, if something weird happened with your water supply and it temporarily dipped down to 6.8, this might stress the fish. If I were you, I'd try to buffer your water up to about 7.4 - 7.6. You can do this by putting a little bag of crushed coral in one of your filters or by adding a little bit of baking soda every time you do a water exchange.

In general, if you are adding new fish to an established tank, it's always easier to change the pH of the water in the bag of fish rather than changing the pH of the whole tank. When you do so, change it gradually over the course of maybe 30 minutes to an hour (longer times needed for greater differences in pH).

I think you have picked all good species for your stocklist, however a total of 4 species seems to be the magic number for a 48" x 18" tank. The main reason for this is that each dominant male will want to claim a territory along the bottom of the tank - especially once they start breeding. 5 species might be pushing the envelop on territory, therefore you may want to leave one of your choices for the next tank you set up (that's the only way I can convince myself to limit my stocking).

Are you stocking juveniles (under 2.5 inches)? If so, it's common practice to stock extra juveniles to ensure that you have enough females. Then you remove extra males to obtain 1 male to 4 female ratios (for most species). If you decide upon maingano, I wouldn't go less than 6 females per male.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
yes, all fish will be juviniles....hence the higher numbers that I was planning...I was told that with saulosi, acei and rusties that m:f ratio wasn't as imperative as other species.

If you guys were stocking this tank...which would you choose the maingano or the albino scolofi? I definately want the acei and saulosi and the rustie (acei and rustie have purple, saulosi and acei yellow, so they color coordinate) If I have to choose only 4 species I am leaning towards maingano to bring out blue in acei and saulosi males...

Also, do bristlenose plecos work with mbuna
 

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aquagirl900 said:
would 4-5 bristlenose plecos work too
Bristlenose usually work. I've had one going on three years but sometimes they get killed. if you try them I would only get two - that would be enough to keep algae under control without letting Bristlenose poop get out of control; they are very messy fish.

kevin
 

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I was told that with saulosi, acei and rusties that m:f ratio wasn't as imperative as other species.
I'd say there are vary degrees of certainty to that statement depending on the species. Aceis you're right m:f doesn't typically matter in a group of say 6, 3m:3f would probably work or possibly more males than females. But in a 4' tank, I wouldn't want 6 aceis, and with fewer fish to spread even the aceis tiny bit of aggression, it'd be safest to have only 1 male.

Saulosi, I think ratio matters. I think its usually recommended 1m:3f or 3m:9f. The 1m:3f recommendation was assuming you wanted to try 5 species, I didn't think there'd be room for a colony with 3 male saulosi.

With rusties, I'd probably recommend 1 male per tank. I have 4 males and 4 females. They've matured and started breeding. Lots of chasing, no deaths. I removed 3 males a month ago, and the male I kept keeps his 4 girls so busy that I'm thinking about adding a couple more females. The other 3 males have been living alone in a 33XL until I find someone who will take them from me, and they havent killed each other yet, but they're clearly not happy, and they do a lot of chasing each other. They've been in there for a month. 1 is colored nicely but not as nicely as my dominant male in my 125. The second is half colored, and the 3rd is completely brown like a female.

If you guys were stocking this tank...which would you choose the maingano or the albino scolofi? I definately want the acei and saulosi and the rustie (acei and rustie have purple, saulosi and acei yellow, so they color coordinate) If I have to choose only 4 species I am leaning towards maingano to bring out blue in acei and saulosi males...
This is just personal opinion, but I like the maingano looks better. I have some albino zebras that are similar looking to albino socs, and I'm just not at all interested in them. Mine don't have much personality, they haven't exhibited any interesting behavior, and they've been causing me the most trouble in the tank - 1 male was killed recently, and another was removed to an isolation for recovery from stress until recently returned to the display to make room for fry. I'm swapping them out for something else more interesting within the next couple months. I thought they'd make a nice color contrast to the rest of my tank, but TBH the novelty wears off pretty quickly.

Maingano made my short list as a swap in. I tried them once before and had to get rid of them because I just wasn't having any luck with them - ended up with 4m and 2f, the initial dominant male was killed by a smaller male that became a huge psycho at 2", and 1 of my females was just about chased right out of the tank relentlessly by all the other mainganos, including the other female. So I was soon to be left with 3m and 1f... So I just got rid of them all. Now with a bigger tank and more experience I feel I could try again and get it right.

But, I'll hopefully end up with fuelliborni marmalade as the replacement, though I wouldn't recommend them for a 4' tank. For your tank, I'd try the maingano over the albino socolofi. But again, its a personal opinion.
 
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